Be Happy and Free

Be Happy and Free

I still don't feel like writing about anything else.

The recent death in our family has taken over everything. I am constantly thinking about my loved ones, even more than I always have, consumed with thoughts of helplessness, mourning, and guilt.

Routines are starting to introduce themselves again, but it all feels too soon. It seems like this tragedy is so fresh that nothing in the world could possibly be normal right now. Every time I watch a slew of cars speed to work, the neighbors outside in the yard, or people commenting about what shows they're watching, I am taken aback, as if it's impossible to think the world could be going on while all of this is happening.

It's getting easier to talk about, sometimes. Other times a flood of tears overwhelms me from nowhere and I am faced with the truth as if it were brand new all over again. I wonder how my family is doing, really doing, because everyone handles grief differently, and sometimes people have to work a lot of it out in their minds.

If you haven't noticed, I prefer abundant communication, almost to a fault. It's twisted that when people ask me so blatantly What happened?!? I shut down; my body floods with a warmth of nerves and I fight desperately to not crawl under the table and curl into a ball. I don't really want to talk about it really means I am dying inside and you're asking me to describe each dagger of pain to you.

I appreciate everyone's kindness indescribably. The immense amount of love and support blanketing my hurting family is such a comforting background to this month's events. I've met such good people that I already can't imagine how I ever lived without them. I've gotten to know others better, and I'm grateful to have so many more good souls to call friends.

But in the back of my mind, the grief pounds away. As soon as I remember to feel grateful for all that I have, I feel heavy guilt scolding me for feeling decent at a time like this. So many of the best people I know are suffering like they never have before. It wasn't just a family and a group of friends that lost someone, it was the world, because whether you knew him or not, he made our home brighter. He offered laughter and hope to those who could only see darkness, and deeply loved the beautifully flawed humans that needed it the most.

To be very frank, I have no idea what I believe happens to us after our time on this earth, or perhaps this dimension, comes to an end. I have cycled through several beliefs in my life, and lately landed on one without a faith to speak of. Christian, Pagan, and Buddhist theories buzz around in my head, but none of them fully stick.

I think there must be a darkness in all of us, every one of them different, and we all choose to react to them in our own ways. Lately I have been attempting to witness the somber pieces of my inner character, but I have not been good at sitting with them. I realize I've been tending to dismiss them too quickly, afraid to look at them, afraid of falling back into the depression pit, where I'll have to drag my mind back out of the mud again.

I tell myself I have too much going on to be depressed right now. Too much reading and writing and yoga and chanting and Reiki and sewing and cleaning and money to handle for me to slow down even more than I already have lately. It tears at me that so many people in my life don't understand my need to bury myself when I feel this overwhelmed. To let myself be sad or pissed off or hopeless for a while and to not beat myself up over it. To accept it and learn to love myself anyway, and to do this alone without gossip or irrelevant small talk.

I am changing. And now, everyone in my family and so many people in my community are being forced into change from what happened. I want to move forward (eventually) into a new and lighter being, someone who isn't afraid to stand taller, smile bigger, and practice kindness even in a world so evil.

I go back and forth between wanting contentment and relief, and desperately holding on to the pain so that it feels fair, fair to my family, fair to his memory, fair to my own processing. I know there isn't anything fair about any of this, but whether we want to or not, time will eventually begin to heal all of us. It will never, ever be the same. Everything will be different in a way none of us could ever have wanted, but hopefully we will all one day be able to celebrate his life more, and carry the weight of his tragic death less.

I'm attempting to cultivate good energy for everyone. For my family, which includes his and ours, for his friends, for anyone lucky enough to have met him, for everyone on this earth that has someone to love and to lose, for myself, and especially for the dear soul we lost. Cherish each other.

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free.